Imagine a Home that Makes you Smile

Designers’ Delight: December Shopping in the Crescent City

It was only two years ago that I wrote about my mission to find the perfect antique chandelier for a client in  New Orleans. And I was fortunate to be able to source a few unique items this year again. Reposting today as December Shopping in the French Quarter is just magical. It was a little cloudy, so these photos were as good as any taken this year. December is especially beautiful as the Crescent City is decorated in many unique and whimsical ways. I wanted to share some of my memorable impressions with you.

French Quarter

St. Louis Cathedral



Shopping in the French Quarter is an amazing experience. Beautiful antique shops are in abundance especially on Royal Street.

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Creative Built-In Sleeping Areas for Dogs

Built In Sleeping Area for Dogs

Photo by Matthew Millman Photography

As we are experiencing the Dog Days of Summer, I thought it appropriate to share ideas for planning stylish and creative built-in sleeping areas for dogs. Our pets are an important part of our household. Homeowners are finding that designing for their companion’s comfort, as well as their convenience, can be an exercise in delightful problem solving.

An imaginative solution I encountered at the San Francisco Decorator Show House is shown in the photo above. Carved out from under a stairway, a relaxing and stylish alcove is a perfect safe haven for your all important family member to keep you company in the kitchen. Doesn’t this beautiful dog look like she is part of the original painting on the walls that surround her?

With pet-friendly fabrics, such as Sunbrella, a custom designed cushion in just the right patterns and coordinated colors can be tailored to the space you dedicate to your dog.  And what do you think of that awesome bolster styled accent pillow? Removable slip covers will make washing a breeze. And speaking of cleaning, I especially like an area dedicated to grooming. If you have the space, consider incorporating a bathing area with a hand shower to make cleaning easier. If your laundry room is on the entry level this could be an ideal solution to keeping those muddy paws pristine.

I found a terrific article on Houzz that I am sharing with you below. You will see innovative solutions to keep your dog happy, cozy and your household fashionable! More »

First Place National Award Winning Kitchen

NKBA First Place National Award Winning Kitchen 2016

As promised, I am finally sharing the details of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) First Place National Award Winning Kitchen. I have waited to share the before and after photos with my readers because I wanted to convey properly the beauty of this kitchen, the exquisite detailing and the unique features. You know I love before and after photos as I think they show the amount of decisions that need to be made at every step of the project. These homeowners were invested in each and every decision. In creating a design, I try to use a Five Phase process. Each of these phases has a varying number of steps within to accomplish the winning end result. This is especially true in kitchen and bath design.

The Five Phases I use:

1. Introductions

2. Pre-Design Consultation

3. Schematic

4. Design Development

5. Implementation

Window View

Window View


My approach tends to be a little different than most designers and architects. I plan to write an in depth description of each of these processes in another post.   Let’s focus on some of the steps we took to create this beautiful kitchen with photos. More »

Award Winning Kitchen Design

Award Winner for Best Large Kitchen 3rd Place

National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)Puget Sound Chapter announced the winners of the annual Design Competition last week. I am so pleased that this Award Winning Kitchen Design won 3rd Place for Best Large Kitchen!

Do you love before and after photos as much as I do? I’d like to share just a few steps of the process with you in creating this beautiful kitchen remodel. Here is the finished kitchen looking in the same direction as the Before Photo.

View from the same direction as the BEFORE photo

View from the same direction as the BEFORE photo

Now take a look at the BEFORE photo!



Quite a dramatic change isn’t it? Most important to the homeowner were the following objectives:

  • *Update to gracious chef-friendly space
  • *New open floor plan
  • *Brighten, lighten and incorporate energy efficient lighting
  • *Maximize view of Puget Sound
  • *Amplify counter space
  • *Find space for new powder room


There was quite a bit of rearranging to enlarge the kitchen and open up the space to the light. A bedroom was eliminated to create a powder room. The Master Bedroom walls were rearranged to allow a new entry area as well as another door to a deck on the side of the house. Here are some of the BEFORE photos of the remodel under construction.
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